Rockies Score Three In The Eighth, Beat Pirates In Another Close Game At PNC Park

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
After their late-night, 14-inning slugfest last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies faced off tonight for the third of the four-game series at PNC Park.  The Buccos sent Charlie Morton to the mound for his second start of the season, while the Rockies started Greg Reynolds. 
For the third straight game, the Rockies took the lead in the first inning.  Tonight it was Morton who ran into early trouble, finding himself in a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the opening frame.  Carlos Gonzalez grounded into a double play, scoring Dexter Fowler, but that would be the only run Morton would surrender that inning.
Pittsburgh took the lead in the second inning on Ryan Doumit’s two-run blast to deep center, which also brought Lyle Overbay around to score.  Doumit went 2-3 on the night, also tallying a double later in the game.
After Gonzalez singled home Fowler to tie the game in the third, Seth Smith crushed a Morton fastball into the bleachers to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead.  Our Buccos battled back in the seventh, tying the game once again on a Matt Diaz single which scored Ronny Cedeno from second.
FFTS Pre-Game:
Jose Veras came in to pitch the eighth inning, and the Rockies would deliver the knockout punch against the Pirates’ right-hander.  After loading the bases with no outs, Veras was able to get the next two batters out, but with two strikes on Ty Wigginton, gave up a three-run double, taking the air out of PNC Park and the Pirates’ players.
Jose Tabata provided a temporary spark for fans with his second homerun in as many nights to deep center field, but after getting runners on first and second in the ninth inning, Steve Pearce grounded into a double-play, ending the game in the Rockies’ favor, 6-4.
This was a tough loss for the Pirates.  Once again, for the majority of the game, the offense seemed unorthodox.  Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Garrett Jones were all hitless, and the Buccos just couldn’t seem to string together a pair of hits.
As for Morton, he pitched a pretty nice game, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits through seven innings.  The alarming statistic from his performance is the fact that he gave up five walks.  It certainly would be easy to place all of the blame on Veras, who gave up the three runs in the eighth, and he does rightfully deserve the loss. 
Daniel McCutchen pitched 1/3 of an inning, after being called up from the Minors after Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the DL following last night’s injury.  Kevin Correia also made a surprise appearance tonight on the mound, pitching an inning of shutout, no-hit baseball.
FFTS Post-Game:
The Buccos will take on the Rockies for the final time this series tomorrow afternoon at PNC Park at 1:35.  The Pirates will try to even the series 2-2, and they will send James McDonald to the mound.  While it will only be the tenth game of the season, this is, without a doubt, the most important game of the season so far for the Buccos.  With a feisty Milwaukee Brewers team coming into town next, and a rather difficult road trip in the future, the Pirates need to split this series with Colorado.  Of course, as we, Bucco fans know, Sundays are not always great game-days for us.  Hopefully the Pirates’ bats can come alive, give McDonald some run support, and earn the split and get back on the winning track.

Record Vs. Rockies: 1-2
Record Vs. N.L. West: 1-2
Record At Home: 1-2
Overall Record: 5-4

As Always….
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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